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324 Notes 


Professor Cook's A Literary Middle English Reader (Ginn and Co.) is the 
book for which we have been waiting. Its matter, classified with reference to 
types, includes selections from romances, tales, chronicles, stories of travel, 
religious and didactic pieces, illustrations of life and manners, translations, 
lyrics, and plays. With this varied and abundant offering it will now be 
possible to study at close range in the classroom material that will give at once 
the needed training in language and the equally needed stimulus for further 
reading. Persons who have tried to buy Matzner's Sprachproben and to read 
it after it was bought, will regret only that Professor Cook's Reader did not 
appear in time to save their patience and their eyes. Clear type on good 
paper, wide margins, an introduction for each specimen, and abundant glos- 
sarial notes at the foot of the page, — these are features of the book that teacher 
and student will welcome. The introduction contains a section on the litera- 
ture, which not only introduces but recommends the specimens, and an admir- 
ably compact section on the language. 

The Pronoun of Address in English Literature of the Thirteenth Century by 
Arthur Garfield Kennedy (Leiand Stanford Junior University Publications, 
pp. 91), is a study which endeavors to fix the date of the first appearance of the 
use of the "pluralis reverentiae" or "formal singular," as Mr. Kennedy 
terms it. Upon the basis of an extensive reading of texts he comes to the 
conclusion that the first occurrences are those in "Genesis and Exodus," 
approximately 1250 A.D. The use of the formal singular in the latter half 
of the thirteenth century is "sporadic and seems rather the occasional re- 
flection of a practice familiar in some other tongue or at least in some other 
class of society than that of most of the English literature of the century." 
The author admits that he has found no positive evidence to prove either of 
these theories, but is inclined to believe that the formal singular in large part 
arose under the influence of the French in use at the English court. A useful 
bibliography accompanies the treatise. 

Dr. Joseph J. Reilly's James Russell Lowell as a Critic (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 
1915) examines in seven chapters Lowell's intellectual and temperamental 
equipment as a critic. The study, unlike those which overlook the author in 
favor of literary fashions and influence, reviews the critic's literary output 
with constant and iHuminating reference to bis personality. The method is 
clearly the best, if not the only one, for the rubject in hand; for although 
Dr. Reilly in passing suggests Lowell's kinship with English and Scottish 
temperamental reviewers of the old school, the waywardness of the American 
makes him, whatever the school, more of a truant than a scholar. And yet a 
truant within bounds. A certain connoisseurship in taste and morals kept 
him the eclectic and the puritan, a provincial at the centre of bis circle of 
friends and books. Never a citizen in the larger republic of letters, with 
neither science nor philosophy to guide his steps, he enjoyed the franchise of 
the ardent lover of Dante, Chaucer, and Shakespeare. For Goethe he had 
imperfect sympathy. How far he fell short of Arnold's singleness of pur- 
pose, of Coleridge's depth, of Lamb's insight, of Hazlitt's "steady lucidity and 
consistence," Dr. Reilly has made clear by analysis and citation. The book 
is furnished with a bibliography and an index. 

In his Collected Literary Essays, Classical and Modern (Cambridge: at the 
University Press, 1913) Dr. Verrall deals chiefly with classical themes. The 

Reviews and Xotes 325 

modern essays deal with The Prose of Walter Scott and Diana of the Crossviays. 
In the former there is an analysis of the passage in Guy Mannering in 
which Meg Merrilies denounces Bertram of Ellaryowan, and some comment 
upon "Wandering Willie's Tale" in Redgauntlet, 'the analysis and comment 
being offered with a view to showing that Scott's style and technique, though 
usually loose, is on occasion carefully considered and well-ordered. The 
second of the two modern essays, originally contributed by the writer to 
the National Home-reading Union, detaches wit from Meredith's characteristics 
as the most salient trait of his mind and art, a wit that is sometimes trans- 
formed into eloquence, sometimes sparkles in repartee, and again degenerates 
into a sort of perverse and vertiginous word play. 

Mr. K. Sisam has published at the Clarendon Press (Oxford, 1915) a revised 
edition of Skeat's Lay of Bavelok the Dane. The original Introduction has been 
remodelled with a view to incorporating the results of work which has been 
published since the appearance of the first edition. The notes to the second 
edition are mostly new, and its glossary has undergone careful revision. The 
book contains, too, a collation of the Cambridge Fragment made by Professor 
Carleton Brown. 

Berkeley and Percival by Benjamin Rand (Cambridge: at the University 
Press, 1914) is a scholarly and typographically beautiful edition of the corres- 
pondence of George Berkeley. The letters, most of which belong to the period 
between September 1709 and December, 1730, are taken from manuscripts in 
possession of the Earl of Egmont. With very few exceptions they have been 
printed for the first time in the volume before us. To these are added a score 
or so of excerpts from Percival's Journal. A Biographical Commentary, which 
is both substantial and entertaining, provides such information as is necessary 
for elucidating the text. The book contains five plates; two of Berkeley, two of 
Percival, and one of Berkeley's residence in Rhode Island.